Vinovest is not, technically speaking, a “crowdfunding” platform. But many investors exploring crowdfunding and online alternative investments are looking for opportunities in exotic assets with a low market correlation. Vinovest makes investing in fine wines more accessible to everyday investors through an online platform and fully managed portfolios. They’ll even send you some of your wine to drink (insert joke about liquidating your portfolio…).
Investors with more experience in fine wine investing (and more to invest) can choose their own portfolio, which Vinovest manages.
Is Vinovest legit?
Yes, Vinovest is “legit” in the sense that it is a legitimate US business offering a legitimate alternative investment option to any investor over the age of 21. Fine wine is a legitimate alternative investment asset class, and there is ample historical price and performance data available.
Types of investments Vinovest offers
Vinovest is an online platform for investing in actual bottles of fine wine, which Vinovest stores for you in a climate-controlled, secure and insured facility, which you are even invited to visit (you can also request photos).
What do you get when investing with Vinovest?
Because you’re buying actual bottles of wine, there is no “security” type when investing on Vinovest. You own actual bottles of wine, and Vinovest adjusts their values based on current market conditions, which you can monitor online through the Vinovest platform.
How does Vinovest make money?
Vinovest charges an annual fee of 2.85% that covers buying/selling the wines in your portfolio, storage, insurance, and overall portfolio management. Fees go down a bit with a higher commitment, dropping to 2.5% at a $50,000 investment amount.
Potential returns and cashflow
There is no ongoing cashflow on investments made with Vinovest. Investors receive a return (if any) when they sell their wine. Vinovest also regularly rebalances your portfolio to match your stated risk profile. Investors can request their portfolio be liquidated (in whole or in part) at any time, though Vinovest says it tyipcally takes 4-6 weeks to find buyers for all of the wine. (Buyers are not just other investors, but may be restaurants, hotel groups, importers, etc.)
Breadth of offerings on Vinovest
The primary offering from Vinovest is a managed portfolio of wines. Investors fill out a personalized quiz on what their risk/return profile is, how much they would like to invest, etc. and Vinovest constructs a diversified portfolio of wines and actively source, store, and insure the customer wines. Vinovest will also manage buy/sell recommendations. Here’s how Vinovest describes the sources of their wines:
We source our wines direct from wineries, global wine exchanges, and merchants. Because of this, we have better transparency into the market and will always buy and sell your wines at a fair market value.
Investors with some experience in fine wine investing can also construct their own portfolio, picking which wines they want to invest in. That option requires a higher minimum investment ($50K vs. $5K).
Regulatory framework and due diligence expectations
Because you’re purchasing actual bottles of wine, rather than a security, the transaction is not governed by SEC rules as with most of the investment crowdfunding and online alternative investment platforms we review.